Only two Big Central teams are playoff contenders in the South Group 3 supersection, and both have easily clinched playoff berths. Here are the unofficial scenarios heading into Cutoff Weekend for both teams:
Somerville: Number One in the Central Jersey Sports Radio Top Ten, the Pioneers (6-2) are only in seventh place in this section. The loss to Phillipsburg by forfeit didn’t help, and the loss to Northern Highlands came in the beginning of the year, in Week One. (Somerville started in Week Zero with a win at Olney Charter-PA.) Summit (5-3) is their opponent Friday night (7 pm on Central Jersey Sports Radio in the Big Central Game of the Week driven by Autoland), and a win – factoring no one else – only moves them up to sixth, but they’re just 0.8 UPR behind Woodrow Wilson and Delsea, who are tied for fourth. If Delsea (8-0) gets stunned by Steinert (2-5) Friday night, the Pioneers move up to fifth, but that’s unlikely. They could also then move to fourth if Wall loses to St. John Vianney; they don’t get a multiplier because it would be their third such opponent this season, and they would get natural power points for losing to the Lancers since a Week 2 loss to Group B multiplier Red Bank Catholic is worth 32. A loss to SJV (and an mid-season loss to Donovan Catholic) are both worth 28. With a ‘Ville loss, they only drop to 8th, having not factored anyone else in. But it appears no one behind can knock them any further down, even if Holmdel and Delran win. Triton and Ewing behind them don’t play this weekend. So, we think Somerville can finish no lower than eighth – guaranteed at least a first-round playoff game at Brooks Field.
Rahway: The Indians (3-4) sit in 13th. They’re too far out to finish in the top eight, so we have them playing on the road in the opening round of the playoffs. If things fall right when the brackets are snaked, they could even wind up playing at Somerville in round one. Rahway has a tough game at Hillside (7-1) Saturday afternoon. With a win, we think the highest they could reach is ninth. Even a loss bumps them up a spot to 13th, notwithstanding any other results. And there’s a chance they could even end up in 12th.